Category: Weekend Pet Guides

dog walks nsw bidjigal reserve

Sydney dog-friendly walks: Bidjigal reserve NSW

We love dog-friendly bushwalks more than your average dog family and Bidjigal Reserve did not disappoint. Last month when Waldo had spent a few too many sullen Saturdays giving us third degree guilt stares, we decided to venture out and find a new walk that satisfied our tried and tested dog walking criteria: The bushwalk Read More...

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We love dog-friendly bushwalks more than your average dog family and Bidjigal Reserve did not disappoint. Last month when Waldo had spent a few too many sullen Saturdays giving us third degree guilt stares, we decided to venture out and find a new walk that satisfied our tried and tested dog walking criteria:

  1. The bushwalk must be mostly shaded since hot rocks aren’t great for puppy paws.
  2. There must be access to picnic tables and grounds with toilets and facilities; nothing extravagant but no bush toilets for this family amidst all other 2020 challenges please.
  3. A short drive of no more than 45 minutes from our home in the Inner West.
  4. A dog-friendly trail where locals are welcoming toward dogs.
  5. On-leash rules that are respected, as these trails are narrow and could lead to unwanted attention from dogs who are still being socialised.

Overall, from a few searches and reviews online, we decided that the Bidjigal Reserve in Sydney’s Hills district was a great option for a two-three hour weekend walk. So we put on our hiking shoes, packed some essentials (listed below) and hit the road.

  • water
  • sandwiches
  • a collapsible water bowl
  • some kibble and treats
  • leash and collar
  • battery pack
  • sunscreen

The drive to Bidjigal Reserve

This short drive took us just over 40 minutes (from Leichhardt) at around 11am on Saturday. The route is comfortable, no surprises there. The approach to Bidjigal, however, can get a little confusing as you either land in a playing field or smack amongst some residential streets. Don’t let that phase you and follow the pin. We promise you’ll suddenly emerge into a picnic bench clearing. Be mindful of Fox poison signs. We’re not sure how old these are, but one sign was enough for us to watch like hawks every time Waldo tried to grab and eat anything during the walk.

What to expect

A very relaxed, pleasant, clean and friendly walk with lots of dogs on leashes with lovely locals and tourists alike. This walk may be crowded in a post-Covid 19 world, but we don’t know when that’ll be so for now – we’d say this is as good as it gets on a Saturday. We walked past maybe two groups every 10-15 minutes, and the picnic benches had about three other groups seated when we finished the track.

How many tracks does the reserve have?

There’s something for everyone. Biidjigal Reserve’s tracks are:

  • The Murri-Yanna Track, which we believe is the longest at about 8kms. While it’s estimated at about three to four hours, we wouldn’t quite walk it with a dog that sniffs 20 things for every two steps. But if your dog is a more diligent walker than ours, check out the start at Whitbread  Place, North  Rocks  to  Heidi Place, West Pennant Hills. Expect to hug the creek for most of it.
  • The Burraga Track, which is under 5km and estimated at about two hours. Check your map for the closest access point from whichever direction you arrive from: whether Baulkham  Hills, Castle Hill or West Pennant Hills. This is meant to be quite beautiful and worth it if you don’t have any agenda for the rest of the day and are happy to do some exploring.
  • The Platypus Track – this is the shortest of the three tracks and the one we did (all the photos in this post are from this track). It starts on the Castle Hill end and meanders around the creek for 1.7kms. It should have taken us one hour but Waldo had some friends he wanted to sniff, so we had quite the leisurely walk for about two hours, including a lunch stop.

Dog-walking etiquette

While we did get a few squeals from some couples who weren’t there with dogs, we were happy to note that none of them tried to pet Waldo without permission. This is important to his continued training and is well appreciated (by us and him).

We were also happy to see that young kids on the track did not try to grab Waldo even though at times they were close enough to give it a go. Was it a wonderful coincidence that we only encountered considerate dog-walkers, dogs and non-dog walking humans? Perhaps, but we hope it’s the norm. Here’s a great post to read and pass along if you’re keen to know the right method to greeting a dog.

If you’re interested in reading about more dog-friendly walks in NSW as you and your best friend make it through these uncertain times, read our weekend pet guides; especially this post on Sydney’s 8 dog-friendly walks and parks.

Bidjigal reserve sydney

5 Fun Sports to Try with Your Dog

A healthy dog is a happy dog! Keep your pooch in tip-top shape through consistent exercise to help him live better and longer. Whether he’s a playful puppy, a full-grown adult, or even a senior dog, your four-legged friend will benefit from active pursuits that’ll keep him physically and mentally stimulated. Aside from giving him Read More...

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A healthy dog is a happy dog! Keep your pooch in tip-top shape through consistent exercise to help him live better and longer. Whether he’s a playful puppy, a full-grown adult, or even a senior dog, your four-legged friend will benefit from active pursuits that’ll keep him physically and mentally stimulated. Aside from giving him a healthy way to expel energy, sports will tone his muscles and help maintain his optimal weight. It’ll reduce the risk of obesity that could damage his joints, increase his blood pressure, and/or put a strain on his internal organs.  

Get into a new sport with your dog by trying any of these sports listed below. (You can also spice up your exercise routine by doing various activities for each day of the week!) These fun activities will not just give him something to look forward to doing with you on a regular basis, but will also undoubtedly strengthen your bond. 

1 Dog hiking

Enjoy the great outdoors on a sunny day! Hiking with your pooch is a unique experience that would expose him to grand views of the rugged countryside, giving him an opportunity to sniff a vast array of flowers and plants while building his strength and endurance. Siberian Husky, Australian Shepherd, and Alaskan Malamute are just some of the best breeds that make great trail partners. 

Before taking him hiking, make sure your dog is in good health (with no wounds that could be infected) and all of his vaccinations, dog collar info, and microchip are up-to-date. Give him a sufficient supply of water and snacks (which can be placed in a doggie backpack for him to carry) and keep him on a leash for safety. 

From Cumberland State Forest to the Leacock Regional Park, there are many dog-friendly nature parks in Sydney that you and your pooch can explore. (Note: Before heading out to a NSW national park or reserve, make sure to check for closures and fire bans here.)

2 Lure coursing

If your dog is highly energetic and naturally fond of chasing things, he might excel at this performance sport! Originally developed for sighthound breeds such as Greyhounds, Whippets, and Irish Wolfhounds, lure coursing will test your dog’s fitness, temperament, and concentration to lock in and chase after a moving target. The intense sport uses an artificial lure attached to a nylon string to act like a “live” animal, which is then dragged around to recreate open field coursing. 

In Australia, you can learn more about the sport through the Australian Lure Coursing Association or join their competitions by first trying out with your pooch. There are two divisions for the sport: Sighthound stream (for breeds including Afghan Hound, Azawakh, Borzoi, Greyhound, Ibizan Hound, Irish Wolfhound, Pharaoh Hound, Saluki, Deerhound, Sloughi, Whippet, Italian Greyhound, Basenji, and Rhodesian Ridgeback) and Coursing Ability stream (for all other registered breeds and associate registered dogs).

3 Swimming

When the weather is hot, the fastest way to cool down is to jump into a pool, beach, or lake. However, not all dogs are natural-born swimmers (such as Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Dachshunds), so it’s best to provide him with a dog life vest or jacket each time you plan on taking him on an aquatic adventure. 

Swimming benefits dogs in many ways. Dr. Jonathan Block, DVM of Water4Dogs Canine Rehabilitation Center says, “Hydrotherapy is good for fitness, body condition, and a great source of aerobic exercise that is low impact on the bones and joints. It is a great tool to help your dog stay in optimal shape.” A one-year-old pup, a pooch recovering from surgery, or a senior canine suffering from arthritis can all benefit from this water exercise. 

For beginners, start at a shallow area of the body of water to let your pet get acquainted with the feel of water around him, then slowly make your way to the deeper part. Keep him hydrated with constant water breaks, and don’t allow him to drink water from the pool or pond as it might cause intestinal distress. Never leave your dog unattended no matter how adept he is at swimming. Afterwards, give his ears a good cleaning to prevent ear infections.

Visit these dog-friendly beaches all around Sydney: Rowland Reserve, Sirius Cove Reserve, Flora and Richie Roberts Reserve, Greenhills Beach, Silver Beach, Dumaresq Reserve, and Manly Lagoon. Plus, there’s a dedicated pool for good boys and girls at the southern end of Sydney Park (near City Farm).

4 Dock diving

Once your pooch has mastered the art of swimming, jumping into the water to retrieve an item can be another activity for him to try. Dock diving is simple: you throw a toy into the water, watch your dog jump off a platform to get it, and let him swim back to you with the toy. The common events for this sport include distance (which measures how far your dog lands in the water to retrieve the toy), speed retrieve (which times how fast your dog gets the toy), and air retrieve (which shows how high your dog can jump above the water to grab the toy).

Any type of dog over six months old who loves to jump into the water can compete in this exciting sport, but Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers have a natural advantage because of their build and coat. When dock diving, make sure your dog wears a waterproof dog collar that fits securely. Pick floating toys such as a ball, a fetch toy, or a dog-training dummy that fits his mouth correctly, or your dog might end up swallowing too much water as he swims back to you.

Let your dog competitively play with other dogs through NSW-based competitions hosted by Sydney City DockDogs and Central Coast DockDogs.

5 Doga

Short for dog yoga, doga is a relaxing exercise that aims to improve your pup’s flexibility and health. Through doga, you can be completely engaged with your dog as you both do calming breathing techniques and full body poses (downward facing dog, anyone?) that can loosen stiff joints and release tight muscles. 

Try a doga video workout at home, or better yet, sign up for a 45-minute class with fellow dog lovers. The classes are open to dogs of any age, size, and breed, and even to pet owners without previous yoga experience. Canines attending doga class must have good dispositions, are able to walk and move about, and must be up-to-date with their vaccinations. Your pooch will enjoy bonding with you in this relaxing space, making new two- and four-legged friends, and learning movements that will give him inner peace. 

You can join a doga class in Sydney with Mindful Dog or the Rancan Sisters Fitness.

Depending on your dog’s breed, age, and fitness level, it is recommended that he gets daily exercise between 30 minutes to two hours every day. As with all new endeavours, start small by doing it for about five to 10 minutes a day, and observe how your dog reacts to the sport. If his reactions are encouraging (you hear a happy bark mid-activity or receive a drooly kiss after the session), gradually work your way into doing longer workouts. 

Remember to get the go signal from your veterinarian before trying any of these sports with your pooch. Make sure he is healthy enough for the sport that you plan to do together, and monitor his breathing, water intake, and behaviour while he is exercising. Petplan staff veterinarian Dr. Kim Smyth says, “Find an activity you and your dog both enjoy and work it into your daily routine. As an added bonus, people who exercise with their pets tend to lose more weight themselves; it’s a win-win!” 

Your Complete Guide to Throwing the Best Pet Party

Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, baby showers—humans throw parties for every and any occasion we can think of. These lively celebrations bring people together to commemorate a special event, and in the process, create even more unforgettable happy memories.  As a loving pet parent, you can do the same for your best furry friend and surprise him Read More...

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Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, baby showers—humans throw parties for every and any occasion we can think of. These lively celebrations bring people together to commemorate a special event, and in the process, create even more unforgettable happy memories. 

As a loving pet parent, you can do the same for your best furry friend and surprise him with his very own bash. The look on his face when he sees the festive decor, the tasty treats, and his favorite companions all in one place would be pure gold. You don’t even need to wait for doggo’s first birthday or kitty’s gotcha day to honor your pet. An achievement such as completing obedience training classes deserves a gathering.  

Organising a pet party is slightly different from throwing a human-centric one, but don’t worry! This comprehensive guide by Waldo’s Friends will help make your party planning easy and stress-free. We’ll cover the basics, namely:

  • Budget 
  • Theme 
  • Guests 
  • Venue 
  • Invites 
  • Decors
  • Food and drinks
  • Games and activities
  • Giveaways 
  • Gift wish list

Now let the party planning for your pet begin!


Before everything else, determine how much you’ll be willing to spend. Everything is reliant on how small or big your allocated money is. If you only have a few dollars to spare, you can make it a low-key gathering at your house with a few selected guests, do-it-yourself decors, and homemade dishes. If you have a lot of money to blow, you can invite more people and pets, rent a venue, and even hire a party planner.

TIP: Remember, you don’t need to spend a lot to host a successful bash. This party is for your VIP (Very Important Pet), so always consider his wants and needs before making a decision.


The quickest party theme would be a dog or cat motif depending on what kind of animal the celebrant is. From there, you can choose a colour palette that goes well with his fur or brings out the color of his eyes.

Another way to come up with an interesting motif would be to choose a season (winter, spring, summer, or fall) and take the best elements from that season. A winter wonderland party could have hanging silver snowflake ornaments and guests dressed in white, while a summer luau could have giant paper flower decors and everyone in straw skirts and floral print tops. You can also go with a popular occasion such as Halloween or Christmas (you need to say “Meow-y Christmas to you!” at least once in your life, right?).

You can even have a costume party based on a movie, TV show, or book that the entire family loves. For a Harry Potter theme, your pup can be the extraordinary Harry Pupper and sport a faux lightning scar and round shaped eyeglasses made out of felt cloth. Meanwhile, The Cat in the Hat party is exactly that… your cat wearing a tall red and white hat! (To stay in theme, your invited guests should come in hats too.)

TIP: Look around the house and see what’s available to you. Unused materials in storage may inspire you to come up with a unique party theme! 


Though it’s tempting to invite everyone you know, your guest list should only include people and/or animals that have already interacted with and are familiar with your celebrant. You want the overall mood to be happy and relaxed, and not have to worry about pets being aggressive toward each other. More importantly, consider your pet’s personality, age, and temperament. A sociable puppy will appreciate having a few dogs to play with, while a senior cat (and cats in general) might not enjoy having too many new people and animals present.

When choosing your two-legged guests, only invite like-minded animal lovers who will appreciate the reason for your party. There’s no point in inviting people who could put a damper on this joyous occasion.

TIP: Confirm that invited animals are toilet trained and have up-to-date shots.


Pick a location that’ll be enjoyable for you, your pet, and everyone invited. Ideally, it should be a place your four-legged friend has been to or is comfortable being in. Your home is the most obvious choice, but if it won’t accommodate your guest list and your planned activities, having it in a gated and secure backyard (you don’t want any animals running away!), by the beach, or at a neighbourhood park are viable options. Just remember to ask permission and/or secure a permit if you hold it in a public area.

If you decide to hold the party outdoors, make sure everyone is aware of what being outside will entail such as having access to a pool or being able to run across a wide expanse of land without a leash. Be a responsible party host by preparing a portable trash can, poo bags, and paper towels for guests.

If your pet isn’t the type who enjoys being outdoors, take the party inside at an animal-friendly restaurant or rent a space that contains an indoor dog playground. (Some venues even offer catering packages for humans and canines!)

DiggyDoggyDaycare offers indoor facilities for rent

Wherever you decide to celebrate, two hours of partying is enough. Anything longer than that might exhaust your pet.

TIP: If your notice that your pet tends to be territorial at home, choose a neutral location to hold the party in.


Once you’ve determined who to invite, when to hold the party, and where it’ll take place, you can start sending out invitations to everyone on the guest list! 

Design an evite and email it directly to your guests, or create a Facebook event page and invite people instantly. You don’t need to be an experienced graphic artist to whip up a snazzy design. Simply customise a pre-made invitation or Facebook event cover at

A sample cat party invite from Canva

Don’t forget to include a compelling image of the pet celebrant (or an equally cute vector illustration), the reason for the party, and other essential details such as the date, time, venue, and when and where they should RSVP. Follow up with guests at least three days before your bash, so you can determine the right amount of grub, games, and giveaways to prepare. 

TIP: Save the earth by going paperless! It’ll save you a few bucks too.


A party just isn’t complete without the frills! Go the DIY route by printing paw shapes or animal silhouettes that match your pet’s shape and sticking them all over your venue. (You can even make a game out of it by asking your guests to find as many as they can, and then give a prize to the winner!)

If you’ve got no artistic skills or no time to make your own decors, you can buy shiny foil letter balloons that spell out the name of your pet and announce his current age. Stick them to the wall over your party food or favours to instantly jazz up the venue. For dogs, you can also hang a festive banner that says “happy barkday.”

A fun party banner from The Dog Bakery

Make it easy for your guests to spot the celebrant by making him wear a party hat or festive-coloured bandana. More than just matching the design with the theme of your party, ensure your pet won’t mind donning it (at least for the pictures!). You can train him to get used to it by letting him wear it for a few minutes a day leading up to the big day.

Meanwhile, you can buy dog or cat ear headbands that everyone can wear to honor your pet. You can buy them or make them by reusing old headbands and attaching paper or felt ears. For a personalised touch, ask guests to design their ears using pens and crayons as soon as they arrive.

TIP: If you’re throwing a bash with a limited budget, you can still make it look extra by jazzing up one corner of your venue and having all the pictures taken there. This will work as the official photo wall where family and friends can take pictures with the VIP.

Photo wall inspo from Pearl the Poi Puppy

Food and drinks

Serve snacks that are handy and easy to eat, especially if pets are present. You don’t want their owners dividing their attention between trying to finish a meal and looking out for their fur babies. Present your snacks on disposable paper plates and cups with dog or cat faces, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning up afterwards. Find bone or fish-shaped cookies that you can place in big bowls. You can also create a buffet table filled with ordinary finger food, refreshments, and desserts, then get creative by labeling each item with a punny name.

Paw-some paper plates from Discount Party Supplies

For your canine friends, you can serve dog-nuts or bake a batch of homemade pup-cakes. There are many recipes online which make use of your dog’s favourite ingredients: peanut butter, banana, carrot, and more! For your meow-some guests, you can make tiny bite-sized treats made out of cheese or tuna. A word of caution: If you’re preparing the food, do a quick check to guarantee all your ingredients are animal-friendly.

As for the drinks, prepare lots of water in drinking bowls! You can also try your hand at making an infused beverage using refreshing ingredients like cucumber and mint or seasonal fruits. If you’re hosting a party outside and expect the pets to run around, why not treat them to frozen ice cubes or homemade ice cream when they’ve settled down? Find online recipes featuring ingredients such as strawberries, yogurt, honey, peanut butter, and blueberry. 

Don’t forget the most important party must-have: the cake! Go all out by ordering a cake from your nearest pet bakery, making sure to place your order at least a week in advance. Ranging in size, decorations, and ingredients used, these cakes will definitely put a smile on your pet’s face! (Some bakeries go the extra mile and allow you to put your pet’s mug on the cake.) Check out these fun options below from Woof Gateaux!

TIP: Find out if any of your two- and four-legged guests have food allergies, and set aside specially-made snacks for them.

Games and activities

What’s a party without a few games and activities? Pets and humans can have a blast together through these entertaining options.

Amazing Paw-traits: Prepare different coloured non-toxic paint on huge shallow bowls. Place them over a table covered by open newspapers. Give each parent a blank canvas that he and his pet can use. His pet’s paw will serve as the “brush” for this project, and they can paint anything they want as a collaborative team. 

Meow-sical Chairs: A twist to the popular Trip to Jerusalem game, pets and their parents should dance and go around a group of chairs (it should be one chair less than the number of pairs) while the music plays. When the music stops, the parent and pet should sit on the chair. The couple without a chair gets eliminated, and the game continues until one pair is hailed the winner. 

Bow Wow Bandanas: If you have tons of art and sewing materials lying around, why not set up a space for your guests to design plain bandanas for their pets? Hand them the customisable accessory as soon as they arrive, so their pets can wear the stylised bandanas by the time the cake is presented.

Pin the Tail on the Pooch/Kitty: Tweak the Pin the Tail on the Donkey game by using a blown-up portrait of your dog or cat, and print multiple copies of his tail for people to stick to his body while they’re blindfolded.

TIP: Leave boxes all around the venue for your cat guests, and create a ball pit for your dog guests.


For dogs

  • Tennis ball
  • Chew toy
  • Rope tug
  • Biscuit or jerky 
  • Bandana

For cats

  • Catnip yarn ball
  • Mouse toy
  • Feather wand
  • Lattice ball
  • Bowtie

Your guests can bring home the dog or cat ears they decorated, as well as the items they created during the activities.

TIP: Get the name of your friend’s pet and have it printed on a personalised food bowl.

Gift wish list

Instead of asking for gifts for your dog or cat, why not ask guests to help you collect items that your neighbourhood rescue shelter needs? They can also choose to make a direct monetary donation in your name. These acts will help spread more positive vibes that go beyond your pet’s celebration.

TIP: Give your nearest rescue shelter a call and list down what they need, then share the list on your Facebook event page or via an email update.

Now that you’ve learned the basics of pet party planning, why not organise a fete for your pet soon? You’re sure to get tons of sloppy kisses from him by the end of the celebration!

The ultimate pet travel checklist

Summer’s here and you’re excited for all the road trips planned this season! The best part is that you’ve decided to take your pets along for every trip. That’s right – there’s no reason to leave your cat or dog behind – all it takes is a little planning. This is where we come in! Read More...

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Summer’s here and you’re excited for all the road trips planned this season! The best part is that you’ve decided to take your pets along for every trip. That’s right – there’s no reason to leave your cat or dog behind – all it takes is a little planning.

This is where we come in! Look at our pet travel checklist as four separate lists:

  • Packing list – Everything you’ll need
  • Before you leave
  • On the drive
  • We’re here!

Packing list

Let’s assume you don’t need help with clothes and toiletries (always pack extra underwear!) – so this list is going to focus on the baby animals alone.

We’re also going to assume that you have your own checklists for the car, the hotels and that your pets are in good health and up to date with their shots and treatments. It wouldn’t be too much fun for anyone if you’re taking a sick cat or dog on a road trip.

  • Beds, collars and leashes: Especially if we’re talking about cats. The more familiar you’re able to make your holiday home, the easier it is for your cat to get comfortable sooner. Invest in a good quality leash, if this is the first time you’re taking your cat outdoors.
  • Toys: You know your pet best so take as many as you think needed, prioritising their favourite toys. For cats, maybe take a few empty boxes along too.
  • Scratching posts: You also don’t want your cat to get comfortable to the point that she’s marking any furniture. As with the bed, the more familiar furniture you can take along, the easier it gets for her to be comfortable.
  • Food and treats: Take a little extra – remember, there’s no PetO if you fall short. And be sure to take plenty of their favourites. This includes bones for the dog, and wet food treats to lure your cat.
  • Travel crate: In a car emergency, you want the same level of protection for your cats and dogs, as you would for yourself. Make sure their crates are lined with familiar blankets and cushions, or even t-shirts that you’ve worn recently.
  • Kitty litter and tray: Err on the side of extra litter – like way extra litter, and make sure you take the same tray and brand of kitty litter that your cat is used to, i.e., minimise new experiences.
  • Car seat covers, seat belts and vacuum cleaner: Pet stores stock excellent dog travel harnesses and seat belts – get them. Make sure your pup is securely strapped in.
  • Food and water bowls: If the holiday home already has pet bowls, then you don’t need to take these along. However, if your pet is particular (or if you’re super particular), then go ahead and pack their food and drink bowls too.

Before you leave

Okay, so your bags are packed, Spotify road trip playlist set and you’re ready to go. Make sure you check off the following list before pulling out of your driveway:

  • Feed your pets: Especially your cat. The car ride is going to be new and strange, and you don’t want a rumbly tummy adding to your cat’s worry. Assuming she won’t eat immediately on arrival either, best to start the journey on a full stomach. If this is the first time your cat is riding in the car with you, be sure not to overfeed her. Cat vomit does not make for a good holiday start.
  • Make sure no one needs to use the loo.
  • Lay out the seat covers, fix all seat belt attachments.
  • Keep pet treats handy.
  • Make things as comfortable as possible. Have the air con running at a comfortable temperature, and play some calming music. You don’t necessarily need soft piano. but Slayer might be a bit much.

On the drive

This may or may not apply to your road trip so have a quick read, and pick the ones that apply.

  • Keep a close eye on the cat: Dogs are used to car journeys and boredom will be your only challenge. With cats, each trip could well be starting from scratch. If you’ve made everything as comfortable as possible, your cat will settle down. But be ready to turn around if she starts wailing continuously. After all, no holiday is worth stressing her out that much.
  • Do you need loo breaks? This will depend on the age and usual habits of your pets.
  • Make sure that your pup doesn’t have to hold it in for too long or you’re going to put him through unnecessary stress. Loo breaks for your cat are going to be a double-edged sword. Your cat probably won’t even need a loo break, unless you’ve overfed her (in which case, you’d best be prepared with an army’s supply of cleaning equipment).
  • Repeat step 1.

We’re here!

Hopefully everyone had a comfortable car ride over. Now it’s time to make sure everyone has a pleasant stay and there are no stinky surprises waiting for you on your first morning.

  • Set up the loos. Show the dogs where they can go. If your dog’s already housebroken, this won’t be a problem. However, establish a loo area, so you won’t need to go crawling around to see if he left a present behind the bushes because he suddenly developed a sense of shame.
  • It’s important to set up the cat’s litter tray in as familiar a place as possible. If you share your bathroom back home, then make sure you set up the litter tray in the master bathroom here as well.
  • Set up the cat’s bed. Again, set up the bed in as familiar a spot as possible. This could be under the master bed or in a sunny spot by the window. Check for hidey places.
  • There is a very good chance that your cat is going to go into hiding the second you release her. Make sure that you can get her out of any hidey spots. If not, you’ll need to cut off access to those areas. This could mean keeping a bedroom door closed so that she can’t get under a low bed or blocking off under-the-cupboard areas. The overall strategy is to make sure it’s not a struggle to get her out again.
  • By now, your dog would have run through the house, investigated every room and jumped on at least one major piece of furniture – all good here.
  • And we can’t stress this enough – let your cat ease into the new home at her own pace. Show her where her bed, food, water, and litter tray are, and then simply leave her be. Trying to coax her out will only delay things.

Congratulations! You’re ready to get holidaying. Chances are that you’re going to leave the cat at home while you (and the dog) go on hikes or cycling – and she probably prefers that. No matter what the day looks like, try and stay consistent. Maybe keep a similar morning or a winding down routine. More than the dog, this will help settle your cat into your holiday making it enjoyable for her as well asyou. The dog will have fun no questions.

Sydney’s pet-friendly bars & cafes

If a stay-cation is what you’re after this summer, then bars and cafes are right up there next to beaches and picnics on any holiday to-do list. Whether it’s sinfully great coffee and eggs Benedict after an equally great workout, trying out a new beach for those surf lessons you’ve postponed for too long, or Read More...

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If a stay-cation is what you’re after this summer, then bars and cafes are right up there next to beaches and picnics on any holiday to-do list. Whether it’s sinfully great coffee and eggs Benedict after an equally great workout, trying out a new beach for those surf lessons you’ve postponed for too long, or grabbing a drink with your book (or craft beer!) club – it’s more fun to keep cool with your furry friends right beside you!

It’s the best time to create new memories and there’s no reason to leave your besties at home. Here are some of Sydney’s favourite dog-friendly bars and cafes that get two paws up for letting customers dine with their best friends.

Before we begin, here’s a big Waldo high five for @dogfriendlynsw, who gave us all the great tips to create this list of pet-friendly bars and cafes you can check out in Sydney.

1: Wayward Brewing Co.

1 Gehrig Lane, Camperdown, NSW 2050

This Inner West brewery is a dog-friendly establishment that serves the neighbourhood from Thursdays to Mondays. Following their mantra “take the beer less traveled,” the 24-tap cellar bar offers exciting options for beer drinkers raring to try something extraordinary. Thanks to their award-winning classics, their in-house single-batch brews, their guest craft beers on tap, and their free popcorn, patrons and their pups keep coming back to this industrial-themed pub.

If you can’t decide on what to get, try the Tasting Flights, which consists of six unique brews in sample glasses. And be sure to get your dog up on their wall of fame by adding #dogsofwayward to their extremely hipster Inner West Instagram stream.

2: The Grounds of Alexandria

Building 7A, 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria, NSW 2015

Filled with fragrant blooms, strong brews, freshly baked goods, and organic finds, there’s so much to discover inside this industrial precinct turned garden, cafe, bar, and bakery. The Potting Shed, The Cafe (terrace area), and The Garden are animal-friendly zones where you can let your pet roam around. Who knows, he just might run into The Grounds’ resident pig Kevin Bacon or other adorable farm animals!

People bringing along their pets are advised to inform the establishment beforehand, so that they can be placed in the right area. There’s also a doggie parking for customers dropping by for a quick takeaway!

3: The Carrington

565 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010

Locals and their pets can’t get enough of the laid-back vibe of this Bourke Street institution. One of the oldest gastro-pubs in Surry Hills, The Carro serves no-fuss pub fare and daily specials that go perfectly well with their refreshing draught beers and fine wines. Dogs will salivate over the Doggo Meal offered by the pub for only $6 (choose from Beef Tartare or Steak & Veggies #OnlyinSurryHills). But if you drop by on a Sunday, your pooch can enjoy the meal on the house!

Plan to go here only if your dog can handle being indoors for at least an hour, since the dog-friendly areas are all indoors. The front bar has high bar stools and tables, so your baby will be far down. The back enclosure is more suited for sitting with dogs, and is quite lovely.

4: Naked Brew

10 Swanson Street, Erskineville, NSW 2043

Open as early as 7:30 in the morning, Naked Brew has an outdoor seating area that’s ideal for animal lovers and pets who want to just sit and watch the world go by.

Humans will enjoy hefty servings from Naked Brew’s all-day breakfast menu paired with their specialty coffee, while dogs will be howling with happiness once they taste the delicious offerings the restaurant regularly serves doggie donuts (peanut butter is our pick!), doggie smoothie (made of blended goat’s milk, blueberries, peanut butter, and carob dusting), and doggie chino (composed of frothy goat’s milk, liver sprinkles, and carob dusting).

5: Social Hideout

Shop 2a, 20 Victoria Road, Parramatta, NSW 2150
Shop 4/5 25-33 Allen Street, Waterloo, NSW 2017

All set to visit the prettiest cafe? Popular for its flowerladen eats, over-the-top milkshakes, and jaw-dropping desserts, this beautifully decorated cafe found in Parramatta and Waterloo has many Instagram-worthy spots for you and your fluffy partner-in-crime. As your thirsty pooch laps up a bowl of cold water provided by the friendly waitstaff, stay hydrated with a cold pressed juice or fruit smoothie in hand.

If you plan a visit during the holiday season, do not leave – we repeat – do not leave! without the cake milkshakes. This is the only time of year when you’ll get away with it. Just.

6: Tandem Bar Newton

127 King Street, Newtown, NSW 2042

A hot spot that sprung up in Sydney last September, this Copenhagen-inspired bar is named after an eco-friendly mode of transportation for two (you’ll find tons of cool tandem bicycles within the premises!). Ride out the heat inside this homely bar which features exciting alcoholic collaborations and introduces Scandinavian spirits to its guests.

Adorned with fairy lights and minimalist furniture, their courtyard deck lets you hang out with your favourite mutt and watch the golden sunset while downing Bloody Marys, Micheladas, or Lageritas!

7: The Old Boy Espresso

24 Tallawong Avenue, Blacktown, NSW 2148

With an illustrated bulldog found on its logo, there’s no doubt that this Western Sydney-based cafe welcomes dogs with open arms! Take an early morning run with your pup around Tallawong Oval, then savour a strong hot brew to get you through the day.

Feeling parched? Iced coffee alternatives and summer shakes are also offered! If you need more than just a beverage, the rustic cafe will nourish you with its Brekkie Burger, Mushroom and Kale on Toast, or Old Boy Breakfast Plate. Cap off your meal with an indulgent dessert burger!

8: The Grifter Brewing Co

1/391-397 Enmore Road, Marrickville, NSW 2204

If unique and well crafted are your top two flavours, then The Grifter is ideal for a lazy afternoon with friends – both two-legged and four. Craft beer fans and animal lovers come together in this warehouse which was converted into a hip microbrewery and tasting bar. Fur babies can sit around and mingle with other guests as their parents try the handcrafted beers.

Following traditional brewing methods, The Grifter Brewing Co delivers a tap list of lagers, ales, pilsners, and stouts made with the finest ingredients. Drop by on the weekend and taste the delicious food served by guest food trucks.

9: Rosé Royale

7 Kellett Street, Potts Point, NSW 2011

See the world through rosé-colored glasses with the help of Rosé Royale. As the world’s first rosé wine bar and restaurant, this Potts Point establishment presents more than 50 light pink wines carefully handpicked from different parts of the globe.

Any of these drinks go perfectly well with their French entrees, mains, or share plates. Not to be missed are the desserts made with a touch of rosé. (The signature cake, crepe, and ice cream should be ordered and shared with everyone!) Have a casual wine and dine by the garden so that you can take your dog along.

10: Qube on Bay

56 Bay Street, Ultimo, NSW 2037

Every bruncher’s paradise, Qube serves a delightful menu of everything delicious you could be surprised with on a friendly weekend afternoon: floral garnishes on scrumptious French toasts, perfect brioche buns, roasted wild mushrooms, smoked trout, and more.

Qube has a small courtyard that may look tiny but easily packs in two to 10 seater tables. This is where your best bud can lounge in the summer sun while you sip on some must-drink Egyptian tea or equally amazing Affogato. Be sure to pick up some friands, rocky road cookies, or berry muffins on your way out! Ask their friendly staff for the season’s specials – you will not be disappointed.

How to find (and enjoy) pet-friendly holiday homes

Airbnb, Stayz, Tripadvisor – pretty much every place that offers holiday rental bookings has a pets allowed filter. On Tripadvisor, you’ll find it under ‘Suitability’ in the left bar, alongside other options like kid friendly, wheelchair access and business travel; on Stayz, you’ll find an option to select ‘Pets’ (yes or no) when adding number Read More...

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Airbnb, Stayz, Tripadvisor – pretty much every place that offers holiday rental bookings has a pets allowed filter. On Tripadvisor, you’ll find it under ‘Suitability’ in the left bar, alongside other options like kid friendly, wheelchair access and business travel; on Stayz, you’ll find an option to select ‘Pets’ (yes or no) when adding number of guests and/or kids right from the first point of selecting destination, dates, and guests. And on Airbnb, you’ll find the ‘Pets allowed’ option on the third last filter under House Rules. In short – every holiday rental site offers the option of choosing pet-friendly homes and hotels. And that’s all round great news. If you look well in advance, you’ll even be spoilt for choice! But how do different hosts, house rules, properties and nearby attractions really add up to give you a spectacular pet-friendly home away from home?

In this article, we’ve jotted down some things we learnt through personal experience so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes we did! Read on to know basic pets on holidays etiquette that’ll ensure not just a stellar host review to help with future trips, but also an end-to-end relaxing experience for all aboard! Let’s skip right to it…

#1 Don’t assume that a pet friendly filter is enough

Different humans have different rules for their dogs. Some let their furbabies on every piece of furniture, linen and human emotion, while others leave them secure and contained in the backyard, porch, balcony or mud room. This is why a quick message to the host before booking is usually a polite (not to mention great!) idea. This especially applies to those of us who love bringing a cat along.

A short message that offers a thorough cleanup before you checkout (ask if you’ll have access to a vacuum cleaner), some questions about the host’s preferred areas for animals, and a quick description of your cat, dog or both (size, habits, behaviour) goes a long way in ensuring your host’s happiness.

While a few hosts are okay with sharing their own living spaces with fourlegged guests, most prefer to have the entire house booked out if guests bring their pets. So, don’t forget to select the ‘Entire home’ filter especially if you’re booking a trip via Airbnb.

Quick-tip: Message your ‘pets allowed’ BnB host, and make sure you are fully aware of their preferences.

#2 Read every single house rule minutely, and then read it again

It’s always lovely to leave a holiday spot as pristine as you found it, and this applies to rental homes as well. As pet parents we understand how hard it is to keep the house free of fur all year round. When we take them along for a break, this duty extends to whichever home we rent. So, unfortunately mums and dads, this means that your best friend Mr Vacuum either comes along or you get familiar with the one at your host’s place.

Roll the rugs where pooch is guaranteed to run, cover any linen that your fur friends are sure to walk over, cover any spots that the cat will definitely scratch, and have access to a great vacuum cleaner. Minimise fur-count by brushing little buds before the trip, and if yours shed the way ours do – brush them out in the backyard with your morning cuppa, and away you go!

If any homes are listed as pet-friendly, but include rules such as ‘pets off furniture’ written in ALL CAPS with 10,000 other reminders about what pets can’t do, we give them a miss. The reason: such hosts are usually used to small handbag accessory dogs or dogs that aren’t allowed indoors – which we don’t support, especially in the summer (and winter, or ever). So if any host expects guests to treat their pets as if they aren’t family, then we recommend that you keep looking. Thankfully, there are plenty who do!

Quick-tip: Read every house rule, especially to understand if there are any offbound areas within the property, and hit that cleaning routine before checking out.

#3 Look for the really really friendly pet friendly homes

Hint: these are usually hosts who have pets (playful and outgoing dogs, or cats they can’t live without!) of their own. These will be houses with fenced backyards, doggie doors, cat trees (yes they exist!), dog bowls, beds, and mentions of treats, games and closeby pet-friendly spots.

We’ve had great experiences with hosts who have chicken coops that Waldo has stared at longingly, visiting bush turkeys that he has chased with the owner’s complete and absolutely delightful permission, and host dogs and cats that Salsa has had the pleasure to first hiss at and then accept. This one’s especially easy when you’re looking for a spot along the coast near off-leash dog beaches.

Popular places include: Copacabana, Umina, Pearl, Macmasters, Ettalong, Avoca, Avalon, and more!

Quick-tip: Look for cues like ‘fenced backyard’, ‘pets very welcome’, nearby attractions like off-leash parks, beaches, walks, cafes, restaurants, and give those hosts more weightage than others who simply list under pets allowed without mentioning any pet perks.

#4 Place the litter tray in a similar setting as at home

Some argue that taking a cat for a holiday might be too stressful and not worth the trouble. If you belong to this camp, then a pet sitter is your best bet. However, if you want to encourage your cat to be a little adventurous and see a little more of the world than your own home, we recommend taking her along for a little ride.

As a first instinct, cats will likely run to a spot and hide as soon as you free them from a travel case (which you must definitely use for the car ride. No one wants to be startled by a cat while zooming down the M1). After a few curious sniffs and some ridiculously thorough investigations under the bed, she will emerge from her lair to investigate the rest of the house.

We’ve found that if we go about life as if nothing is new, our cat does come out after a couple of hours. It helps to show her where the litter tray is just before you release her into her hidey spot, and to place her bed under your bed. Every cat is different, so be sure to give yours enough space and she’ll be an avid traveller in no time.

It’s also important to secure all windows and doors, because you might have a runner on your hands and not know it until it’s too late.

Quick-tip: Carry your cat’s bed, and her favourite toy and blanket to make her feel comfortable. Show her where the litter tray is, secure all exits, and leave her be.

#5 Carry everything you need (we mean everything)

This might feel like hard work, but only makes holidays with pets a lot easier. Be sure to cover all bases, if you don’t want to be stuck with a surly cat and an over-amped dog. The rule of thumb is to take anything and everything that will make your pets’ holiday as comfortable as possible, including the ride to get there.

Include beds, bowls, blankets, cleaning supplies, and crates – if your dog is still being crate trained. For older dogs, bring along games like frisbees, hurdles, and tunnels. It’s also a great idea to include a cat enclosure so that your cat can enjoy the open outdoors while feeling secure.

Quick-tip: Think of your baby’s regular routine and throw in some holiday treats for the trip.

And there you have it – five steps to a pet-friendly paradise away from home. Follow these and you’ll return refreshed and ready for life in the city!

8 dog-friendly walks and parks in Sydney

We’re usually spoilt for choice in the summer. Sydney’s many stunning parks, beaches, coastal walks and reserves make for exciting weekends! But when it comes to dog-friendly walks and parks, we run to the same on-leash stretches across Bondi, Coogee, Blackwattle Bay, Iron Cove and Callan park. The no-dogs-allowed rule makes looking for a good Read More...

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We’re usually spoilt for choice in the summer. Sydney’s many stunning parks, beaches, coastal walks and reserves make for exciting weekends! But when it comes to dog-friendly walks and parks, we run to the same on-leash stretches across Bondi, Coogee, Blackwattle Bay, Iron Cove and Callan park. The no-dogs-allowed rule makes looking for a good spot to spend the day with your four legged friend a little tough. But we’re here to tell you that your search is over!

Here’s a list of Sydney’s top spots for on and off leash walks that you can enjoy with Fido.

#1 Wingello State Forest

Getting there – 2 hours, 30 minutes via M31
Leash – no

This is not just an obstacle course where your pooch will love darting between the trees, but you can also camp over making the trip well worth it for a full dose of nature. With so many trails and the smell of pine this spot is sure to become a firm favourite.

The forest has great facilities including a family owned cafe with reasonably priced food, clean toilets and climbing walls. On top of that are its many mountain bike and hiking trails for all skill levels. Plus your pooch will be in his element with loads of off leash time.

Quick-tip: Mushroom enthusiasts have said that this is an excellent spot for mushrooming, so keep your eyes to the ground (but make sure your fur-kid doesn’t indulge!).

#2 Strickland State Forest

Getting there – 1 hour 10 minutes via M1
Leash – no
This is the perfect place to get that refreshing rainforest feel with your pup. Despite being a really well known spot, Strickland State Forest never seems to be packed with visitors allowing for some very tranquil walks along the numerous beautifully preserved tracks.

During the wet months prepare yourself with salt, aeroguard or other repellents to ward off leeches and pack a picnic because this bushwalk has you covered.

Quick-tip: Choose one of the looping trails to take you down towards the creek and enjoy the spray of the waterfall to cool you and your four legged friend down.

#3 Blue Mountains

Getting there – 1 hour 20 minutes via M4 and Great Western Highway/A32
Leash – yes

So close to Sydney, the Blue Mountains are not totally off limits for dogs. There are a few spots you can take your dog around this area. Check out our top picks:

  • Charles Darwin Trail: Charles Darwin himself spent time in the Blue Mountains back in 1836 and many years later you can still enjoy this trail with your dog in tow. Walk down to Wentworth Falls to let your dog splash around in the water, then race back up the stairs to enjoy a picnic.
  • South Lawson Track: A 2-hour loop through four waterfalls, this track has plenty of water and shade. Inexperienced hikers will love the built-in steps! While you stop at a picnic spot Fido will probably find some mud to roll in to cool him off.
  • Terrace Falls Reserve: If you and Fido are up for a challenge, try the Terrace Falls Reserve where you will feel like you really are in the bush with some long grasses and reeds. In fact, you can have fun with the whole family; the kids will be entertained endlessly with the hidden waterfalls.

#4 Leacock Regional Park

Getting there – 36 minutes via M1 and M5
Leash – yes
This lovely little park in Sydney’s southwest is definitely relaxing fun for the whole family with playgrounds, walking trails, cycling tracks and picnic spots. The area is mainly flat with some tree lined paths that offer some very welcome shade in the hotter months. The best part of this park has got to be the many walking tracks next to the river! In fact, the Bellbird walking track offers you and your dog several opportunities to check out Australia’s stunning fauna through a cool, sun dappled rainforest terrain.

End the excursion over at the Leacock picnic area where there’ll be plenty of puppy socialising for everyone.

Quick-tip: Why not stop in at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre while you are in the area?

#5 William Howe Regional Park

Getting there – 53 minutes via M5
Leash – yes
Frequented by locals on their bikes and with their dogs, this looping track will take you to an elevated picnic spot where you can catch your breath and let Fido do some sniffing of his own while you take in the spectacular views or catch a bite to eat.

Practise some trail running with your dog across the 2.5km loop trail where well behaved dogs are very welcome. The picnic area itself comes with scenic views and lookout points. Be sure to carry lots of water, food and snacks if you’d like to camp out here for a bit.

Quick-tip: William Howe Regional Park is popular with families who bring kids so make sure that you’re comfortable with kids playing around your pooch!

#6 Cumberland State Forest

Getting there – 29 minutes via M1 and M2
Leash – yes
Take some time out from your fast paced city life to spend an afternoon in this beautiful oasis right in the middle of suburbia. Fido will love zigzagging through the trees, following the many walking trails through the forest. You can even make a full family day trip making use of the picnic and barbecue facilities or stopping in at the cafe for a post walk lunch.

Quick-tip: Swing through the trees with the TreeTops climbing course! But remember to book in advance for this popular activity.

#7 Bomaderry Creek Regional Park

Getting there – 2 hours via M1 and Princes Highway
Leash – yes
A short skip and jump from the Princes Highway between Bomaderry and North Nowra, this park is a creek and walking trail paradise. Explore its 3.9km walking loop before settling down for a lazy day under the trees.

Two sides of the same coin, this park boasts a gum forest on the one side and towering cliffs on the other. You can choose from a variety of trails to let Fido work off some of that pent up energy and later on head back to the picnic area, equipped with nice clean toilets and barbecue facilities.

Quick-tip: During summer you may be lucky enough to spot some grey-headed flying foxes.

#8 Lake Parramatta

Getting there – 30 minutes via M4 and James Ruse Drive
Leash – yes
Just 30 kms from Sydney’s CBD, pet-friendly Lake Parramatta is accessible all year round. Choose from three trails – the 1500m short She-Oak track, the 2400m Banksia trail, and the full deal – the 4km lake circuit track.

The popular lake circuit bush walk will take you around the lake which is home to a host of family friendly activities from swimming, pedal boats and even a kids play area. In even better news, the lake was opened for swimming three years ago, so no more trudging across to the Eastern suburbs for a cool summer dip!

Quick-tip: Go cliff jumping into the lake! Or if you’re more leisure driven, BYO float and chill on the water.

Sydney’s best dog-friendly beaches

Escape the heat of the city with your pooch this summer and enjoy some salty fun at the beach. New South Wales is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia and tonnes of them are dog friendly! Your furry friend will appreciate the chance to stretch their legs, meet some other pups Read More...

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Escape the heat of the city with your pooch this summer and enjoy some salty fun at the beach. New South Wales is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia and tonnes of them are dog friendly! Your furry friend will appreciate the chance to stretch their legs, meet some other pups and maybe even take a dip in the ocean. So pack a ball and a towel and check out some of the greatest dog friendly beaches close to the heart of Sydney.

1) Rowland Reserve: stretch pooch’s legs on the sand!

The sandy spit at Rowland Reserve is a fantastic place for you and your dog to stretch your legs together and maybe even take a dip in the ocean. You’ll find a 24/7 off leash beach by a grassy park which is popular both with locals and their furry friends. This is a great place for your dog to get some exercise and socialise at the same time. Why not take a day trip and pack a picnic for a change of pace this summer? At less than an hour’s distance from the city, this is a no brainer!

How to get there:

Rowland Reserve is located in Bayview on Pittwater Road, just under an hour’s drive from Sydney’s Inner West. Parking can be a little difficult around 5pm on weekdays, so think about timing your visit for when the beach is a little quieter.

2) Sirius Cove Reserve: perfect for a dip

If your dog loves splashing around in the ocean, one of the best places to visit this summer will be Sirius Cove Reserve. The sandy stretch of beach here is a gem within Sydney’s lower North shore, offering off leash access from Monday to Friday and some great little waves for dogs to play in. This spot is also a great starting point for the walking trail going east towards Taronga Zoo, Bradleys Head, and Chowder Bay. Be careful if you visit on a weekend or public holidays, as leash restrictions apply during 9am to 4pm. But don’t let that stop you: Sydney’s summer means plenty of warmth and at least three hours of sunshine after 4 in the afternoon, so there’ll be lots of sun and sand left to enjoy with your dog!

How to get there:

Sirius Cove Reserve is in the suburb of Mosman in Sydney’s lower North shore. The reserve has a designated parking area on Sirius Cove Road, as well as free street parking on the surrounding roads. The South Mosman and Mosman Bay ferry stops are also about a 20-minute walk from this unique spot.

3) Flora and Richie Roberts Reserve: sand dunes and lagoon fun

Dogs love to race through the grass and splash around in the lagoon at Flora and Richie Roberts Reserve, a naturally beautiful place in Curl Curl right next to the ocean.The reserve is a full-time off leash spot for dogs to chase each other and work off some of their energy. The water quality in the lagoon varies depending on how recently there’s been rain, but let’s face it, your furry friend is going to need a bath after a trip to the beach anyway.

How to get there:

Flora and Richie Roberts Reserve is in Curl Curl at 79 Carrington Parade, around 40 minutes from the Inner West. This spot has public toilets, waste disposal for pets and parking facilities.

4) Greenhills Beach: sea and sand for you and pooch

Picture-perfect Cronulla is one of the few dog-friendly suburbs in Sydney with plenty of opportunities for your dog to play and jump right into those ocean waves. Greenhills Beach, in particular, has a great vibe during the summer, and for pooches who love to roll in the sand and play ball right by the sea, it is a must-visit. Plan ahead when visiting Greenhills though, as the beach is only off leash accessible before 10am and after 4pm.

How to get there:

Greenhills Beach is located at the northern end of Cronulla, next to Wanda Beach. There is access from Bate Bay Road off Captain Cook Drive and Elouera Road. The beach itself is accessible through Wanda Reserve, the grassy areas near the car park. Keep your pooch on the leash until you reach the beach, which is the section north of Track 5 off Mitchell Avenue. To the south of Track 5, dogs are banned at all times.

5) Silver Beach: bring friends for a dog-friendly barbecue

Silver Beach is one of our top picks for a full day out this summer with your friends and your furry kids too. The pristine beach showcases a lovely view back towards the city, and offers playground equipment, barbecue facilities, and public toilets. Dogs are permitted on the beach all day between Monday and Friday and before 9am and after 4pm on weekends and public holidays. Off-leash swimming is permitted between the 3rd and 4th jetties at the western end of the beach only, so keep an eye out for signs.

How to get there:

Silver Beach at Bonna Point Reserve is just a stone’s throw from Greenhills Beach on the Kurnell peninsula. You can drive right up to the parking facilities on Prince Charles Parade in order to access this great spot.

6) Dumaresq Reserve: harbour views and swims for water lovers

Eastern Sydney’s designated dog beach Dumaresq Reserve is a water-dog’s paradise, with shallow waves rolling onto the sand and plenty of other pups to play with. The beach is best visited at low tide when there’s a wide stretch of sand available for dogs to galavant about on. It is a popular spot, as one of the only dog-friendly beaches in this area, and offers great views of Sydney Harbour as well. The regulations at Dumaresq Reserve permit dogs to play off leash before 8.30am and after 4.30pm.

How to get there:

Dumaresq Reserve is located in Rose Bay at the end of Dumaresq Road just 16km from Sydney’s Inner West. The parking here can be tough at peak times, so be sure to plan ahead.

7) Manly Lagoon: where humans are tolerated!

At Manly Lagoon you’ll find a full time off leash spot where dogs who love the water can frolic about and cool down during the hot Aussie summer. While not technically a beach, the lagoon is ideal for furry friends to stretch their legs and get some much-needed exercise in the great outdoors. Though we wouldn’t recommend for you to swim in the water, it’s perfect for pooches to jump in and chase around an abundance of new smells.

How to get there:

Manly Lagoon is just half an hour from Sydney’s Inner West, adjacent to parkland of Manly Lagoon Park, Hinkler Reserve, and Aitkin Reserve. Parking facilities are available, but being close to Manly you might need to hunt for a spot on weekends.